I’ve had a few insults hurled at me as a journalist. Shockingly, it’s been rare in the last 10 years or so. They were regularly hidden behind punk screen names on the old website Kearny on the Web back in the mid-2000s. And, the most recent one came in 2016 from a grieving sister, who had lost her brother a few days earlier. She probably felt better after she called me a “fat f**k.”
But the other day, I learned it’s become a pretty common practice for locals to hurl insults at the police for no apparent reason. This shouldn’t be surprising, I suppose, given the climate across the nation. But it still stunned me to hear cops constantly hear the insults — whether they’re in uniform or plain clothes — every single day. No matter where they patrol.
When they do hear such words, guess what they’re supposed to do?
Absolutely nothing but show restraint and then move on.
Imagine if it were teachers, firefighters, lawyers (OK maybe not a good example), couriers, doctors, nurses or any number of professions where the insults were regularly being hurled. Would we tolerate it as a community? Don’t think so.
And yet, the women and men who have to wear bullet-proof vests every single day so that we might be safe are hearing it from young and old, Black or white, simply because they’ve decided to spend a lifetime keeping us safe? Think about this insanity! It’s unacceptable.
The same people who feel it’s proper to insult cops are likely the first ones to call them when their driveway’s blocked, or when they’re locked out of a vehicle, or when something minute occurs that really doesn’t need police response.
They’re the same people who cry out for help in times of need, when someone in the household is drunk or high and causing a domestic disturbance.
They’re the same people who couldn’t handle a dispute on their own if they tried for days.
And yet, they’re the first ones to mention “donuts” or the word “pig” just to get a laugh or to get under the skin of the people who often sacrifice more than we’ll ever know … so that we might live freely and safely.
So we encourage you, no matter where you live, to take the time, when you see a cop, to say “thank you.”
We understand there is frustration because of the horrid death of George Floyd. But the cops we know are not like those buffoons. Our cops care. Our cops live here. They ensure our safety regularly. And they do not deserve to be insulted for no reason.
Please, show the rest of the world we’re better than this.
Nothing else will suffice.
Learn more about the writer ...
Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.